Celebrating Carnival Freedom in Galveston

The futuristic atrium aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom on the evening of February 14, 2015. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Saturday, February 14, 2015
The party is just getting started here onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom as she celebrates her arrival in her new homeport of Galveston, Texas. My day, however, began much earlier, as I disembarked from an Eastern Caribbean cruise in Miami, Florida.

After a long day, I arrived at my balcony stateroom aboard Carnival Freedom In Galveston, Texas...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

After a long day, I arrived at my balcony stateroom aboard Carnival Freedom In Galveston, Texas…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...to find a friend waiting to greet me! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…to find a friend waiting to greet me! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Of course, nothing throws you back into reality after a cruise than the delicate art of flying. It’s an exercise in patience, really. There are lines at check-in, baggage drop and security. Few people smile; fewer are friendly. It’s the complete antithesis of a cruise, which is warm, nurturing and pampering.
Once I’d arrived and cleared security, I made my way to Terminal G at Miami International Airport to wait for my flight to Houston. If you’ve ever been here before, you’ll know Terminal G more closely resembles an ISIS stronghold than an airport. Fraying carpeting, bathrooms missing basic plumbing fixtures, and walls that have been caked with years’ worth of “Institutional White” paint in the same way bark grows on trees.

The reverse of my Category 8C Balcony Stateroom. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The reverse of my Category 8C Balcony Stateroom. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Fast-forward past numerous delays with my flight, a 40-minute wait for my luggage and a nearly two-hour drive from Houston to Galveston. By the time I reached Carnival Freedom at her berth in Galveston, it was past seven in the evening, and I’d missed most of the major events scheduled for today, including the cheque presentation to Operation Homefront and the special Carnival LIVE concert put on by Martina McBride.

Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, left, Operation Homefront CEO Tim Farrell, center, and Carnival Senior Cruise Director John Heald hold a large check facsimile just prior to a Martina McBride Carnival LIVE concert </body></html>
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